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Loveseat Buying Guide

Whether you're short on space or just like the idea of a sofa that only fits two people, loveseats are perfectly practical pieces of furniture. Here's how to find your ideal loveseat.

What Is a Loveseat?

A loveseat is a type of seat, made with two seat cushions. Two people or less can sit on one, where usually three people or less can sit on a sofa. Loveseats are also sometimes called “two-seat couches.”

Loveseat vs. Sofa

Compared to a sofa, a loveseat is smaller. Loveseats are also designed to sit two people (or less); a sofa can usually sit up to three or four people.
Although a loveseat is generally sized to fit two comfortably, models vary in width and depth. They can be anywhere from 48 to 72 inches wide and are most often 36 inches deep.
Those designed especially for tiny spaces like lofts and bachelor apartments can be as small as 60 inches wide and 28 inches deep. In comparison, standard sofas measure about 84 inches wide and 40 inches deep.

Loveseat Materials

Just like regular sofas, loveseats are available across the gamut of styles, from austere modern armless couches to comfy, overstuffed recliners. When purchasing a loveseat, look for quality construction that will stand up to everyday use. Some features to consider include:

  • Kiln-dried solid hardwood or engineered wood frame with blocked, nailed and glued corners
  • Sinuous steel coil suspension in the 8-gauge range with metal clips
  • Seat cushions with innerspring coils or a high-density foam

If you're looking for a loveseat recliner, decide whether you prefer a power motor or manual exterior pull mechanism and whether you want the recliner to lie completely flat.

Upholstery can be fabric or leather, and either choice is available in a range of grades. High-performance fabric loveseats are generally made from synthetic fibers such as polyester and is resistant to stains and tears. For a natural look, consider cotton or linen blends.
For a luxurious feel, consider a 100 percent leather loveseat; for a loveseat that offers just as much comfort (but is often lower in price than an all-leather loveseat), consider a combination of leather and matching vinyl, which is more economical.

How to Buy the Right Loveseat

The right loveseat for you depends on both the size of your space and your seating preferences. What works in a room large enough for multiple seating arrangements won't suit a tiny condo living/dining area.
Measure your space carefully and take into account the placement of your other pieces of furniture so everything isn't crowded together. When choosing where to put your loveseat, make sure to leave enough room to maneuver around easily and to accommodate side tables and lamps. Also, a reclining loveseat needs extra floor space to recline fully.
If you're placing your loveseat beside or close to other seating, make sure the arm, leg, back and seat heights are roughly the same. You can also consider armless loveseats for easy placement.

How to Style Your Place With a Loveseat

For a cohesive look, match the style of the loveseat to the sofa, if you have one. This works especially well if the loveseat and sofa are used to form a conversation area. Another good idea for a conversation area is two loveseats either facing or at a right angle to each other.
If you're setting your loveseat apart from the main seating area, perhaps in a reading nook, choose a complementary style or the same style with complementary upholstery.
Loveseats also work well in oddly shaped rooms that don't have long stretches of unencumbered wall or floor space, and in bedrooms as cozy places to curl up.

Loveseats for Small Spaces

When your room calls for something larger than an armchair but not as big as a sofa, a loveseat fits the bill. Keep these points in mind when looking at loveseats:

  • Scale is important; look for a loveseat that doesn't overwhelm the space with its height or depth.
  • Thickly cushioned loveseats look bigger, so for tiny spaces, stick to sleek, contemporary styles with clean lines and a low back.
  • Color and pattern also affect visual space. To keep the room from feeling claustrophobic, use light solid colors for the upholstery.
  • It's easy to see why people love loveseats. In rooms large and small, they offer a comfortable place to stretch out and relax or converse with friends and family.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.